Someone's Been Watching Too Much Numb3rs
From The Atlantic, by a man who’s done a lot of work with marketing data:
Big data might have stopped the massacres in Newtown, Aurora, and Oak Creek. But it didn’t, because there is no national database of ...
Earlier this year, Fareed Zakaria tried making the case for gun control. In the process he distorted virtually every fact he touched, and borrowed a little too much wording from a New Yorker article.
But in the wake of the ...
The Assault-Weapons Paradox
Whenever I compare so-called “assault weapons” with hunting guns, someone points out that assault weapons are designed for military use. How could it be that they’re often less dangerous than deer rifles?
The answer lies in the difference between ...
Re: Newtown and Gun Control
I agree wholeheartedly with Charlie, but I wanted to add a few notes about some of the specific policy proposals that are floating about.
In general, there are two ways to control access to guns: keeping all guns away from ...
Fast and Furious Sentencing
From Yahoo! News:
A man who purchased two rifles found at the scene of the fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent north of the U.S.-Mexico border was sentenced Wednesday to nearly five years in federal prison.
J. D. Tuccille makes the case over at Reason:
I . . . consider the restrictions right-to-work laws impose on bargaining between unions and businesses to violate freedom of contract and association. So I’m not cheerleading for the right-to-work law just passed ...
As Mario Loyola and others have noted, Michigan seems poised to enact a right-to-work law, and union supporters — including the president — have been panicking. They’re justified in being worried: Right-to-work laws are a useful step in rolling back the ...
George Zimmerman Sues NBC
From the Los Angeles Times:
Murder suspect George Zimmerman has sued media giant NBCUniversal for defamation, alleging the company and its reporters tried to create a “racial powder-keg” by manipulating a tape of Zimmerman’s 911 call to authorities on the ...
Guns and Crime in Virginia
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent.
But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over ...
Lindsey — I think it’s worth noting that the judge’s ruling invoked not some grand constitutional principle, but the somewhat odd process that the state constitution requires for education funding.
The provisions the ruling rests upon (B and C) ...
Atlantic Writer Endorses Concealed Carry
Here, from Jeffrey Goldberg. Most of the ideas will be familiar to any longtime Second Amendment supporter, but it’s refreshing to see them in a left-leaning venue.
I think we see the center moving a bit here, thanks to ...
‘The essentiality of freedom in the community of American universities is almost self-evident,” wrote Earl Warren in a 1957 Supreme Court opinion. Apparently, American universities themselves have come to disagree.
In Unlearning Liberty, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) president ...
Read my review over at the homepage.
A Dartmouth Official on Hooking Up
From The Atlantic:
I spoke to a woman who works at the Center for Women and Gender at Dartmouth (where I went to college) and acts as an advisor to female students. Her official line is that the point of ...
Why Didn’t Nate Silver Offer Odds?
Eliana — no wonder Scarborough didn’t take the bet.
As I understand it, Silver thinks Obama has an 80 percent chance of winning, and Scarborough thinks the race is a toss-up. In this situation, one would normally place the odds between ...
The Washington Times has my review. A taste:
What Mr. Sander and Mr. Taylor have accomplished here is incredibly impressive. The authors have done an excellent job of pulling together the available research, and Mr. Sander in particular has been ...
Brice Harper and the Castle Doctrine
Numerous writers, most recently Emily Bazelon of Slate, have touted the Brice Harper case from Montana as evidence against the castle doctrine, which allows people to use lethal force when it’s necessary to keep intruders off their ...
Michael — I’m not an expert on these matters, either, and the article doesn’t spell out the theory as precisely as I might have liked. But this is my general interpretation:
In r-selection, you have a bunch of kids, ...
Maggie: I’m not a lawyer, but I do know a little bit about defamation law, and I think the chances are very, very slim.
A “hate group” label is not really a hard statement of fact, and the ministry’...
Zakaria to Return to Time
A spokesperson e-mails:
We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for TIME, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident ...
From the Washington Times:
House Republicans on Monday asked the federal courts to intervene and force the Obama administration to turn over documents from the botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, escalating what had been a simmering constitutional crisis.
Prosecutors Release Zimmerman Info by Accident
Fox News has the story:
Florida prosecutors mistakenly released a trove of evidence in the case of George Zimmerman, including a photo of Trayvon Martin’s body after he was shot to death by the neighborhood watchman.
Evidence that was ...
Fareed Zakaria has tried to make “The Case for Gun Control” in Time. The results are not pretty. Virtually every argument he makes misrepresents the underlying data.
After a lead that cites the Sikh-temple shooting, the Aurora massacre, and the ...
The Wisconsin Shooter’s White-Power Band
From the Daily News:
Wade Michael Page, the suspect in the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, spent years in the underground white supremacist rock scene, the Southern Poverty Law Center found.
. . .
End Apathy released music on ...
The Why of Fast and Furious
Over the last few days, I’ve been digesting the long new report from Darrell Issa and Charles Grassley about Fast and Furious. It’s only the first in a series of three, it deliberately leaves out some confidential information, ...
Fast and Furious Report Names Names
From The Hill:
Republican investigators pinned the failures of “Operation Fast and Furious” on five officials in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a scathing joint congressional draft report issued Monday evening.
The 211-page draft report, obtained ...
James Holmes Was Seeing a Psychiatrist
So reports CNN:
Shooting suspect James Holmes was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist before last week’s attack at a movie theater that killed 12 people, according to a court document filed by his attorneys.
Naturally, this raises ...
‘The Higher Education Bubble’
That’s the title of Glenn Reynold’s newest book, and over at the Washington Times, my friend Jeremy Lott offers a review. Lott points out an important difference between a traditional bubble and the “college bubble”:
You can default ...
In the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting last year, I offered my fellow journalists some tips for writing about guns. One of the hardest things about being a journalist is that you’re expected to cover a wide variety ...
The Complaint against Mark Regnerus
I go through it in detail over on the home page. I’m not really a fan of his gay-parenting study, but there is no evidence of ethical misconduct.
Nathan: Just for the record, I’d like to point out that in the race to “rob” other generations to pay for one’s own benefits, the elderly have a huge head start.
Trayvon Martin Case Update
From the Miami Herald:
The lead Sanford Police investigator who sought manslaughter charges against George Zimmerman told the FBI that a sergeant and two other officers tried to pressure him into making an arrest in the controversial case — even though ...
Re: Did Fast and Furious Not Happen?
Yesterday, I was on the Marc Steiner Show with Katherine Eban, author of Fortune magazine’s piece about Fast and Furious. I was able to raise with her some of the concerns that I mentioned in this post.
Regarding the ...
Did Fast and Furious Not Happen?
That’s the rather startling finding of a Fortune investigation. The basic thrust is that for the most part, the ATF didn’t deliberately allow criminals to buy guns; instead, agents weren’t able to interdict weapons and make arrests ...
Two Studies on Stand Your Ground
Two years ago in The American Spectator, I described the frustration I’ve experienced following empirical research about gun control. It turns out that the topic is just so complicated — there are a million different factors that influence crime rates, ...
Bloomberg View: Turn Over the Docs
From their editorial:
Democrats say efforts by the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over a botched gun- sting operation are a partisan stunt. They are right about ...
Did Gun Control Cause the Holocaust?
This idea, recently propounded by Joe the Plumber, is probably most associated with the folks at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. I’m no World War II expert, and this type of historical speculation — if you held everything ...
Elizabeth Wurtzel Should Get Out More
The Atlantic has her screed against stay-at-home moms and their undermining of feminism. Here’s a taste:
To be a stay-at-home mom is a privilege, and most of the housewives I have ever met — none of whom do anything around ...
If I tried to analyze every ill-founded claim about guns made by the Brady Campaign, I’d do little else. But this Huffington Post op-ed by the Campaign’s president, Daniel Gross, deserves a response.
The piece starts out unremarkably ...
The New York Times has a reasonably fair piece about microstamping, a technology that could help law enforcement trace guns. New York is considering requiring gun manufacturers to use the technology, which basically turns a gun’s firing mechanism into ...
Contempt Vote against Holder Scheduled
The House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It’s the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch ...
Zimmerman Prosecutor Flips Out
From the Orlando Sentinel:
Famed attorney and legal commentator Alan Dershowitz has been one of the harshest critics of State Attorney Angela Corey’s approach to prosecuting George Zimmerman. According to Dershowitz, Corey is none too pleased.
Writing on Newsmax....
He has to return to jail within 48 hours. The AP reports:
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said Friday that George Zimmerman misled the court about how much money he had available when his bond was set for $150,000 in April. Prosecutors claim ...
Mötley Crüe bassist and songwriter Nikki Sixx has had enough of Barack Obama:
The heavy metal band’s bassist was an Obama supporter but now says POTUS has been a disappointment. Knocking Obama for keeping up with celebrities, ...
Craig Becker Returns to AFL-CIO
Craig Becker, the controversial labor attorney who served on the National Labor Relations Board thanks to a recess appointment by President Obama, has returned to the world of outright activism. From Politico:
Craig Becker will become general counsel for the ...
Over on the homepage, I report on $400,000 in grants the Department of Justice awarded recently:
Bernardine Dohrn has a history with the Justice Department. More specifically, in the early 1970s, she was one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives ...
Bernardine Dohrn has a history with the Justice Department. More specifically, in the early 1970s, she was one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives because of her actions with the Weather Underground, a violent radical organization.
Times have changed. ...
Matthew Owens Back in the Hospital
Over at The American Spectator, Quin Hillyer has some on-site reporting. Read the whole thing, but here are a few key bits:
A decidely groggy, unwell-looking Matthew Owens, victim of a beating nine days ago in Mobile, AL, had finally ...
The Hill’s Ridiculous ATF Story
Here’s the lede:
Nearly 70 percent of all guns found in Mexico came from the U.S. over the past four years, according to data released by the federal government on Thursday.
Then a few paragraphs later we learn:
Making a Hash of the Second Amendment
Harvard historian Jill Lepore has a piece attacking gun rights in the latest New Yorker, and a follow-up post on the magazine’s website. Most of it is basically what you’d expect: some numbers about gun violence, ...
Feinstein's Assault-Weapons Proposal
You can read a summary here.
Like the 1994 ban, it would cap magazine size at ten rounds, ban a number of weapons by name, and also ban guns with certain cosmetic features. However, it would define as an “assault weapon” ...
The Folly of Blaming Video Games
Adam Lanza played violent video games for hours at a time. The Columbine killers loved Doom. And Anders Breivik told a court he played a Call of Duty game to practice his hand-eye coordination.
The fact of three young men ...
Yesterday in this space, I pointed out that Adam Lanza’s Bushmaster .223 is banned for deer hunting in many states on the grounds that it’s too weak. I thought the relevance of this fact was pretty clear: It wouldn’...
Via David Hardy, a check from the City of Chicago to the NRA for attorneys’ fees:
Michael Kinsley has far less standing to make this case than Reason’s J. D. Tuccille has to make the case that right-to-work is unlibertarian, but he gives it a shot.
Unsurprisingly, he dwells on the free-rider problem that right-to-work ...
Seventh Circuit judge Richard Posner, who was no fan of the Supreme Court’s recent gun rulings, nonetheless has held that these decisions imply a right to carry a loaded gun in public.
As the Supreme Court has noted, bans ...
Re: Also Racist Now: Pronouns
Dan (and everyone else who piled on): It is pathetic that, in support of such an inflammatory thesis, all Sirota can do is “frigging count minorities.” What’s even more pathetic is that the count doesn’t show what he ...
It’s hard to read this from John Rosenberg without losing all hope for higher ed.
Try to follow the chain of reasoning here:
A new report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, Black Male ...
It's Double-Official: Video Games Are Art
I’m sympathetic to the idea that video games are capable of being artistic — as I explained recently in Academic Questions, many modern games feature stunning imagery, explore moral issues, and at least try to tell compelling stories. I think ...
In March of last year, I wrote about the case of Bradley Manning, a man accused of giving troves of classified documents to WikiLeaks. At the time, he and his lawyer were claiming that the Quantico Marine base was holding ...
Every video-game company dreams of owning a Money-Printing Annual Franchise — one of those series whose fans will turn out in droves to pay $60 for a fresh game every single year. There aren’t many members of this elite club: Call ...
Did Border Patrol Agents Give Guns to a Cartel?
The testimony of a Mexican hitman turned government witness has revealed some astonishing details of life inside Mexico’s criminal underworld. Most astonishing of all: claims that cartel assassins obtained guns from the U.S. Border Patrol.
A few years back, some white Duke lacrosse players were falsely accused of raping a black stripper, and much of the university’s faculty pounced on the players with cries of racism and woman-hating before all the facts came out. ...
Over at SCOTUSBlog. Most of it is the “dueling studies” kind of thing you expect to see whenever complex statistical work is at issue, but I did find this argument rather bizarre:
Comparisons of mean SAT scores are again misleading, ...
Bank President Arrests Robber
American Banker (disclosure: my wife works there) has the story of a bank president in Missouri who followed a robber outside and apprehended him.
Second Amendment lovers should read the whole thing, but my favorite part is the last graf:
New Fast and Furious Report
From the House Oversight Committee. It features lots of details about who-knew-what-when.
From the executive summary:
The Criminal Division was not the only component of the Justice Department overseeing Fast and Furious. The Office of the Deputy Attorney General was ...
AmSpec’s Op-Ed Contest for Students
A former University of Nebraska women’s basketball star faked an attack in which she allegedly carved anti-gay slurs into her skin because she felt it would spark change, police said Tuesday.
The NYT Is Jealous of Russia
Because, over there, politicians make sure it’s difficult for citizens to arm themselves:
Russians can buy only a long-barrel firearm if they have a police permit that requires a clean criminal record, a gun safety course and a medical ...
No Stand Your Ground in Martin Trial
The narrative that George Zimmerman is presenting in court — Trayvon Martin knocked him down and started pounding his head into the ground — does not rely on the much- (but wrongly) maligned self-defense law Stand Your Ground.
What Stand Your Ground ...
Did Zakaria Borrow from The New Yorker?
In my critique today of Fareed Zakaria’s pro-gun-control column, I point out that he uses the exact same language as The New Yorker, save a comma — “the court agreed[,] unanimously” — to describe how the Supreme Court, in 1939, reacted to ...
USPS Loses $5.2 Billion in One Quarter
From the New York Times:
The Postal Service’s financial problems worsened in the spring. The agency reported a $5.2 billion net loss on Thursday for the quarter that ended June 30.
In the same period last year, the agency reported a ...
As NR’s resident heavy-metal expert, I’ve been asked to weigh in on the news that the Wisconsin shooter played in a neo-Nazi band. Yes, it is a fact that some Nazis play punk and metal. But these acts ...
I previously wrote about the frivolous ethics complaint against Mark Regnerus, the author of the recent study on gay parenting. Now, the journal that published the study, Social Science Research, has conducted an internal audit. The audit will be published ...
As I noted earlier this month, the deadline looms for USPS to make a $5.5 billion payment toward retiree health benefits that it cannot afford. In fact, the original deadline for this payment was months ago, and it can’t afford ...
The former NYT journalist dreams that four former presidents (Carter, Clinton, and the two Bushes) will band together in support of bringing back the 1994 assault-weapons ban.
I would write a response, but John Lott’s piece today pretty much has ...
Gun Control and the Police
The LA Times is reporting that “police groups” are calling for gun control:
Despite the tough political climate for federal gun control legislation, a coalition of law enforcement groups on Thursday called for background checks on all gun buyers and ...
Should Free Marketeers Turn Down Money?
Think Progress is making a big deal of the fact that a businessman featured in a Romney “you didn’t build that” ad received subsidized small-business loans. (They also complain that he did some work for the Navy and Coast ...
USPS Prepares to Default, Reform Stalls
That’s the gist of a New York Times report today. While the U.S. Postal Service will continue to operate as before, it will not be able to make a required payment toward future retiree health benefits. This is ...
The Gay-Parenting Witch Hunt
As social science, Mark Regnerus’s study of gay parenting is debatable. As Charles C. W. Cooke detailed here at NRO, Regnerus wasn’t able to find many stable homes run by gay parents — a fact that conservatives might attribute ...
Betsy — as you posted this to the Corner yesterday, I was getting ready for a home inspection. In Virginia, not Maryland.
For someone moving to the D.C. area, the difference is actually quite striking. At first glance, it may ...
More on Fast and Furious and Gun Control
Senator Chuck Grassley has a new memo (starting on page four of the PDF). It contains a paragraph describing a rather odd situation: An ATF agent was asked by his supervisor (David Voth) to trace guns that hadn’t been ...
Razib Khan has a must-read post.
Since details about the Fast and Furious scandal first started to emerge, the biggest question has been: Who in their right mind would think that letting criminals walk away with guns would be a good way to fight crime? Thus ...
‘You’re Going to Die Tonight’
George Zimmerman has claimed that Trayvon Martin said those words — after Martin spotted his gun — during the struggle that led to the shooting.
There’s a video of Zimmerman acting out the incident at the scene here. He also claims ...
Oversight Votes for Contempt
The committee’s vote was 23–17. The next step is a vote of the entire House.
How Stand Your Ground Works
The Tampa Bay Times has pulled together a database of cases in which Stand Your Ground was invoked. Ta-Nehisi Coates highlights a few random cases here.
Assistant AG Leaves Justice
Ronald Weich, the assistant attorney general who authored a letter in February of 2011 falsely denying that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had allowed “gunwalking” during Fast and Furious, is leaving his job. The press release, however, does ...
The U.K. and Libel Tourism
I’ve made the point several times on this blog that “libel tourism” — the threat that someone who doesn’t like what you write will sue you in a country with weak free-speech protections and win — is not something Americans ...
Is Obama’s Race a Net Negative at the Polls?
Late last year, I noted a study about how racism might have affected Barack Obama’s 2008 vote total. A researcher used Google searches that include the N-word as a measure of racism — some areas of the country produce far more ...
‘Fast and Furious’ Doesn’t Mean Fast and Furious
From CNS News:
Attorney General Eric Holder claimed during congressional testimony today that internal Justice Department emails that use the phrase “Fast and Furious” do not refer to the controversial gun-walking operation Fast and Furious.
Under questioning from Rep. Jason ...
Darrell Issa says he has new documents proving that senior Department of Justice officials knew about the “gun walking” tactics used in Fast and Furious:
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday said new documents ...
Ward Churchill Still Wants His Job Back
From the Denver Post:
Ward Churchill’s fight to win back his job at the University of Colorado gained momentum Tuesday when the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear his appeal.
“It’s very good news for the First Amendment, ...
Changing Stories in the Martin Case
From the Huffington Post:
George Zimmerman’s self-defense claim could be hurt by his own witnesses, who have changed their accounts since they were interviewed early on in the Trayvon Martin case.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that four witnesses’ statements ...
The Chicago Sun-Times has picked up my story from yesterday:
The U.S. Justice Department is drawing criticism from a conservative magazine after the federal agency reportedly gave $400,000 in grants to an organization that lists a Northwestern University professor and ...
Elizabeth Warren’s Job Interview Revealed!
A Racially Motivated Beating in Virginia?
Mediaite covers a case that has received very little attention in the media: In Virginia, two white reporters were beaten, apparently without provocation, by a large group of black men. The police, despite checking off the “hate crime” box on ...
More details on the brutal beating in Mobile, Ala.:
Cops in Mobile, Ala. made their first arrest in the apparent mob beating of Matthew Owens: Terry Rawls surrendered Wednesday on assault charges. . . .
[Mobile Police Corporal Chris] Levy said that officers ...
George Zimmerman Has ‘Black Roots’
A Reuters investigation has plenty of interesting details about Zimmerman and the events leading up to the shooting:
The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those ...
‘Now That’s Justice for Trayvon’
The news reports are quite murky, but there’s been a brutal beating in Mobile, Ala., that seems to tie in to the Trayvon Martin incident. Apparently, there were growing tensions between a white man named Matthew Owens and a ...